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Marvin Olasky

Marvin OlaskyAKA Marvin N. Olasky

Born: 12-Jun-1950
Birthplace: Boston, MA

Gender: Male
Religion: Presbyterian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Pundit, Historian, Journalist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Tragedy of American Compassion

Marvin Olasky stands as one of the first major intellectual successes in the American conservative movement, a man whose views on welfare were codified into law in the late 20th century. Born into a Jewish family in Boston, Marvin Olasky became an avowed Atheist and Marxist in high school and a member of the Communist party in 1972. While attending the University of Michigan, Olasky's beliefs made a complete reversal after a spiritual awakening: either due to a decision to read the New Testament in Russian or a sudden existential crisis while reading Lenin, Olasky found himself a fervent supporter of the Christian conservative movement. He was baptized into the Presbyterian church in 1976; in 1992 he helped found the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX.

Olasky has taught in the journalism department at the University of Texas at Austin since 1983, becoming a full professor in 1993. Midway through his term as associate professor, he came to the attention of Reconstructionist philanthropist Howard Ahmanson, Jr., who gave him the editorship of the Turning Point series of books via his charitable arm, the Fieldstead Institute. Olasky wrote its first installment, A Christian Worldview Declaration (1987), as well as the Capital Research Center series Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy.

This initial work brought him to the attention of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which funded him as a two-year Bradley scholar at the The Heritage Foundation. His two 1988 books on the mass media, Prodigal Press: The Anti-Christian Bias of American News Media and The Press and Abortion, 1838-1988 outlined philosophies that harmonized with the Christian agenda of World magazine, of which he became editor in 1992. He was instrumental in that periodical's 1998 spawning of the World Journalism Institute, which seeks to recruit and train Christian journalists and inject them into the mainstream media.

He has since written over 16 books, most notably The Tragedy of American Compassion (1992), which blamed the countercultural revolution of the 1960s for society's ills thirty years later and claimed that welfare needed a basis in Christianity if it was to have any lasting effect. The book gained the endorsement of William Bennett, who passed it on to Newt Gingrich, who in turn shilled it to every Republican in the House of Representatives. In January 2001, he saw the policies outlined in this book put into law with the creation of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. George W. Bush has called him "compassoniate conservatism's leading thinker"; in 1999, he chaired an advisory subcommittee on religion and public policy for the then-governor.

Wife: Susan Olasky (juvenile author, Young American Patriot, m. 1976)
Son: Pete (b. 1977)
Son: David (b. 1980)
Son: Daniel (b. 1985)
Son: Benjamin (adopted, b. 1990, bi-racial)

    University: BA American Studies, Yale University (1971)
    University: MA American Culture, University of Michigan (1974)
    University: PhD American Culture, University of Michigan (1976)
    Lecturer: San Diego State University (1976-77)
    Professor: Journalism, University of Texas at Austin (1983-)
    Provost: The King's College, New York City

    World Editor, Columnist (1992-)
    Austin American-Statesman Columnist (1996-2003)
    The Boston Globe Reporter (1970-71, 1973)
    DuPont Executive speechwriter, public affairs coordinator (1978-83)
    Acton Institute Senior Fellow (1999-)
    American Compass
    Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
    Capital Research Center Senior Fellow (1991-)
    Center of the American Experiment Board of Advisors
    Communist Party USA 1972
    The Heritage Foundation Bradley Scholar (1989-90)
    Fieldstead Institute Editor, Turning Point book series
    Interfaith Stewardship Alliance advisory board
    Progress and Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow (1995-96)
    TheVanguard.Org Board of Advisors
    World Journalism Institute
    Converted to Atheism 1964
    Born-Again Christian 1976
    Russian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry

Author of books:
Corporate Public Relations: A New Historical Perspective (1987, nonfiction)
Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration (1987, nonfiction, with Herbert Schlossberg)
Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Public Affairs Giving and the Forbes 100 (1987, nonfiction, foreword by Donald Rumsfeld)
Freedom, Justice and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and the Oppressed (1988, nonfiction, with Clark Pinnock, Herbert Schlossberg, and Pierre Berthoud)
Prodigal Press: The Anti-Christian Bias of American News Media (1988, non-fiction)
The Press and Abortion, 1838-1988 (1988, non-fiction)
Central Ideas in the Development of American Journalism (1991, non-fiction)
Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: Funding False Compassion (1991, non-fiction, with Daniel T. Oliver and Robert V. Pambianco)
More Than Kindness: A Compassionate Approach to Crisis Childbearing (1992, non-fiction, with Susan Olasky)
The Tragedy of American Compassion (1992, non-fiction, later republished with an introduction by Charles Murray)
Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America (1992, non-fiction)
Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: The Progressive Deception (1992, non-fiction, with Daniel T. Oliver and Stuart Nolan)
Philanthropically Correct: The Story of the Council on Foundations (1993, non-fiction)
Fighting for Liberty and Virtue: Political and Cultural Wars in Eighteenth-Century America (1995, non-fiction)
Telling the Truth: How to Revitalize Christian Journalism (1996, non-fiction)
Renewing American Compassion: How Compassion for the Needy Can Turn Ordinary Citizens into Heroes (1996, non-fiction)
Whirled Views: Tracking Today's Culture Storms (1997, non-fiction, with Joel Belz)
The American Leadership Tradition: Moral Vision from Washington to Clinton (1999, non-fiction)
Compassionate Conservatism: What it is, What it Does, and How it Can Transform America (2000, non-fiction, introduction by George W. Bush)
The American Leadership Tradition: The Inevitable Impact of a Leader's Faith on a Nation's Destiny (2000, non-fiction)
Standing for Christ in a Modern Babylon (2003, non-fiction)
The Religions Next Door: What We Need To Know About Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, And Islam - and What Reporters Are Missing (2004, non-fiction)
The Great Divide: The failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West (2004, non-fiction, with Alvin J. Schmidt)

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